Key Bindings for Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code lets you perform most tasks directly from the keyboard. This page lists out the default bindings (keyboard shortcuts) and describes how you can update them.

Note: If you visit this page on a Mac, you will see the key bindings for the Mac. If you visit using Windows or Linux, you will see the keys for that platform. If you need the key binding for another platform, hover your mouse over the key you are interested in.

Keyboard Shortcuts Editor

Visual Studio Code provides a rich and easy keyboard shortcuts editing experience using Keyboard Shortcuts editor. It lists all available commands with and without keybindings and you can easily change / remove / reset their keybindings using the available actions. It also has a search box on the top that helps you in finding commands or keybindings. You can open this editor by going to the menu under File > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts. (Code > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts on Mac)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Most importantly, you can see keybindings according to your keyboard layout. For example, key binding cmd+\ in US keyboard layout will be shown as ctrl+shift+alt+cmd+7 when layout is changed to German. The dialog to enter key binding will assign the correct and desired key binding as per your keyboard layout.

For doing more advanced keyboard shortcut customization, read Advanced Customization.

Keymap Extensions

Keyboard shortcuts are vital to productivity and changing keyboarding habits can be tough. To help with this, File > Preferences > Keymap Extensions shows you a list of popular keymap extensions. These extensions modify the VS Code shortcuts to match those of other editors so you don't need to learn new keyboard shortcuts. There is also a Keymaps category of extensions in the Marketplace.

Tip: Click on an extension tile above to read the description and reviews to decide which extension is best for you. See more in the Marketplace.

Keyboard Shortcuts Reference

We also have a printable version of these keyboard shortcuts. Help > Keyboard Shortcut Reference displays a condensed PDF version suitable for printing as an easy reference.

Below are links to the three platform-specific versions:

Detecting keybinding conflicts

If you have many extensions installed or you have customized your keyboard shortcuts, you can sometimes have keybinding conflicts where the same keyboard shortcut is mapped to several commands. This can result in confusing behavior, especially if different keybindings are going in and out of scope as you move around the editor.

The Keyboard Shortcuts editor has a context menu command Show Conflicts, which will filter the keybindings based on a keyboard shortcut to display conflicts.

show keybinding conflicts menu

Pick a command with the keybinding you think is overloaded and you can see if multiple commands are defined, the source of the keybindings and when they are active.

show keybinding conflicts result

Default Keyboard Shortcuts

Note: The following keys are rendered assuming a standard US keyboard layout. If you use a different keyboard layout, please read below. You can view the currently active keyboard shortcuts in VS Code in the Command Palette (View -> Command Palette) or in the Keyboard Shortcuts editor (File > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts).

Basic Editing

Key Command Command id
⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+X) Cut line (empty selection) editor.action.clipboardCutAction
⌘C (Windows, Linux Ctrl+C) Copy line (empty selection) editor.action.clipboardCopyAction
⇧⌘K (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+K) Delete Line editor.action.deleteLines
⌘Enter (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Enter) Insert Line Below editor.action.insertLineAfter
⇧⌘Enter (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Enter) Insert Line Above editor.action.insertLineBefore
⌥↓ (Windows, Linux Alt+Down) Move Line Down editor.action.moveLinesDownAction
⌥↑ (Windows, Linux Alt+Up) Move Line Up editor.action.moveLinesUpAction
⇧⌥↓ (Windows Shift+Alt+Down, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Down) Copy Line Down editor.action.copyLinesDownAction
⇧⌥↑ (Windows Shift+Alt+Up, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Up) Copy Line Up editor.action.copyLinesUpAction
⌘D (Windows, Linux Ctrl+D) Add Selection To Next Find Match editor.action.addSelectionToNextFindMatch
⌘K ⌘D (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+D) Move Last Selection To Next Find Match editor.action.moveSelectionToNextFindMatch
⌘U (Windows, Linux Ctrl+U) Undo last cursor operation cursorUndo
⇧⌥I (Windows, Linux Shift+Alt+I) Insert cursor at end of each line selected editor.action.insertCursorAtEndOfEachLineSelected
⇧⌘L (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+L) Select all occurrences of current selection editor.action.selectHighlights
⌘F2 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+F2) Select all occurrences of current word editor.action.changeAll
⌘I (Windows, Linux Ctrl+I) Select current line expandLineSelection
⌥⌘↓ (Windows Ctrl+Alt+Down, Linux Shift+Alt+Down) Insert Cursor Below editor.action.insertCursorBelow
⌥⌘↑ (Windows Ctrl+Alt+Up, Linux Shift+Alt+Up) Insert Cursor Above editor.action.insertCursorAbove
⇧⌘\ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+\) Jump to matching bracket editor.action.jumpToBracket
⌘] (Windows, Linux Ctrl+]) Indent Line editor.action.indentLines
⌘[ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+[) Outdent Line editor.action.outdentLines
Home Go to Beginning of Line cursorHome
End Go to End of Line cursorEnd
⌘↓ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+End) Go to End of File cursorBottom
⌘↑ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Home) Go to Beginning of File cursorTop
⌃PageDown (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Down) Scroll Line Down scrollLineDown
⌃PageUp (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Up) Scroll Line Up scrollLineUp
⌘PageDown (Windows, Linux Alt+PageDown) Scroll Page Down scrollPageDown
⌘PageUp (Windows, Linux Alt+PageUp) Scroll Page Up scrollPageUp
⌥⌘[ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+[) Fold (collapse) region editor.fold
⌥⌘] (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+]) Unfold (uncollapse) region editor.unfold
⌘K ⌘[ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+[) Fold (collapse) all subregions editor.foldRecursively
⌘K ⌘] (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+]) Unfold (uncollapse) all subregions editor.unfoldRecursively
⌘K ⌘0 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+0) Fold (collapse) all regions editor.foldAll
⌘K ⌘J (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+J) Unfold (uncollapse) all regions editor.unfoldAll
⌘K ⌘C (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+C) Add Line Comment editor.action.addCommentLine
⌘K ⌘U (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+U) Remove Line Comment editor.action.removeCommentLine
⌘/ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+/) Toggle Line Comment editor.action.commentLine
⇧⌥A (Windows Shift+Alt+A, Linux Ctrl+Shift+A) Toggle Block Comment editor.action.blockComment
⌘F (Windows, Linux Ctrl+F) Find actions.find
⌥⌘F (Windows, Linux Ctrl+H) Replace editor.action.startFindReplaceAction
⌘G (Windows, Linux F3) Find Next editor.action.nextMatchFindAction
⇧⌘G (Windows, Linux Shift+F3) Find Previous editor.action.previousMatchFindAction
⌥Enter (Windows, Linux Alt+Enter) Select All Occurrences of Find Match editor.action.selectAllMatches
⌥⌘C (Windows, Linux Alt+C) Toggle Find Case Sensitive toggleFindCaseSensitive
⌥⌘R (Windows, Linux Alt+R) Toggle Find Regex toggleFindRegex
⌥⌘W (Windows, Linux Alt+W) Toggle Find Whole Word toggleFindWholeWord
⌃⇧M (Windows, Linux Ctrl+M) Toggle Use of Tab Key for Setting Focus editor.action.toggleTabFocusMode
Toggle Render Whitespace toggleRenderWhitespace
⌥Z (Windows, Linux Alt+Z) Toggle Word Wrap editor.action.toggleWordWrap

Rich Languages Editing

Key Command Command id
⌃Space (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Space) Trigger Suggest editor.action.triggerSuggest
⇧⌘Space (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Space) Trigger Parameter Hints editor.action.triggerParameterHints
⇧⌥F (Windows Shift+Alt+F, Linux Ctrl+Shift+I) Format Document editor.action.formatDocument
⌘K ⌘F (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+F) Format Selection editor.action.formatSelection
F12 Go to Definition editor.action.goToDeclaration
⌘K ⌘I (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+I) Show Hover editor.action.showHover
⌥F12 (Windows Alt+F12, Linux Ctrl+Shift+F10) Peek Definition editor.action.previewDeclaration
⌘K F12 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K F12) Open Definition to the Side editor.action.openDeclarationToTheSide
⌘. (Windows, Linux Ctrl+.) Quick Fix editor.action.quickFix
⇧F12 (Windows, Linux Shift+F12) Show References editor.action.referenceSearch.trigger
F2 Rename Symbol editor.action.rename
⇧⌘. (Windows Ctrl+Shift+., Linux Ctrl+Shift+[intlbackslash]) Replace with Next Value editor.action.inPlaceReplace.down
⇧⌘, (Windows Ctrl+Shift+,, Linux Ctrl+[intlbackslash]) Replace with Previous Value editor.action.inPlaceReplace.up
⌃⇧⌘→ (Windows, Linux Shift+Alt+Right) Expand AST Select editor.action.smartSelect.grow
⌃⇧⌘← (Windows, Linux Shift+Alt+Left) Shrink AST Select editor.action.smartSelect.shrink
⌘K ⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+X) Trim Trailing Whitespace editor.action.trimTrailingWhitespace
⌘K M (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K M) Change Language Mode workbench.action.editor.changeLanguageMode

Navigation

Key Command Command id
⌘T (Windows, Linux Ctrl+T) Show All Symbols workbench.action.showAllSymbols
⌃G (Windows, Linux Ctrl+G) Go to Line... workbench.action.gotoLine
⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+P) Go to File..., Quick Open workbench.action.quickOpen
⇧⌘O (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+O) Go to Symbol... workbench.action.gotoSymbol
⇧⌘M (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+M) Show Problems workbench.actions.view.problems
F8 Go to Next Error or Warning editor.action.marker.next
⇧F8 (Windows, Linux Shift+F8) Go to Previous Error or Warning editor.action.marker.prev
⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P) Show All Commands workbench.action.showCommands
⌃⇧Tab (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Tab) Navigate Editor Group History workbench.action.openPreviousRecentlyUsedEditorInGroup
⌃- (Windows Alt+Left, Linux Ctrl+Alt+-) Go Back workbench.action.navigateBack
⌃⇧- (Windows Alt+Right, Linux Ctrl+Shift+-) Go Forward workbench.action.navigateForward

Editor/Window Management

Key Command Command id
⇧⌘N (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+N) New Window workbench.action.newWindow
⇧⌘W (Windows, Linux Ctrl+W) Close Window workbench.action.closeWindow
⌘W (Windows Ctrl+F4, Linux Ctrl+W) Close Editor workbench.action.closeActiveEditor
⌘K F (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K F) Close Folder workbench.action.closeFolder
Cycle Between Editor Groups workbench.action.navigateEditorGroups
⌘\ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+\) Split Editor workbench.action.splitEditor
⌘1 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+1) Focus into First Editor Group workbench.action.focusFirstEditorGroup
⌘2 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+2) Focus into Second Editor Group workbench.action.focusSecondEditorGroup
⌘3 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+3) Focus into Third Editor Group workbench.action.focusThirdEditorGroup
⌘K ⌘← (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+Left) Focus into Editor Group on the Left workbench.action.focusPreviousGroup
⌘K ⌘→ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+Right) Focus into Editor Group on the Right workbench.action.focusNextGroup
⌘K ⇧⌘← (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+PageUp) Move Editor Left workbench.action.moveEditorLeftInGroup
⌘K ⇧⌘→ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+PageDown) Move Editor Right workbench.action.moveEditorRightInGroup
⌘K ← (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Left) Move Active Editor Group Left workbench.action.moveActiveEditorGroupLeft
⌘K → (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Right) Move Active Editor Group Right workbench.action.moveActiveEditorGroupRight
⌃⌘→ (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Alt+Right) Move Editor into Next Group workbench.action.moveEditorToNextGroup
⌃⌘← (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Alt+Left) Move Editor into Previous Group workbench.action.moveEditorToPreviousGroup

File Management

Key Command Command id
⌘N (Windows, Linux Ctrl+N) New File workbench.action.files.newUntitledFile
Ctrl+O Open File... workbench.action.files.openFile
⌘S (Windows, Linux Ctrl+S) Save workbench.action.files.save
⌥⌘S (Windows Ctrl+K S, Linux ) Save All workbench.action.files.saveAll
⇧⌘S (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+S) Save As... workbench.action.files.saveAs
⌘W (Windows Ctrl+F4, Linux Ctrl+W) Close workbench.action.closeActiveEditor
⌥⌘T (Windows, Linux ) Close Others workbench.action.closeOtherEditors
⌘K W (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K W) Close Group workbench.action.closeEditorsInGroup
Close Other Groups workbench.action.closeEditorsInOtherGroups
Close Group to Left workbench.action.closeEditorsToTheLeft
Close Group to Right workbench.action.closeEditorsToTheRight
⌘K ⌘W (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+W) Close All workbench.action.closeAllEditors
⇧⌘T (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+T) Reopen Closed Editor workbench.action.reopenClosedEditor
⌘K Enter (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Enter) Keep Open workbench.action.keepEditor
⌃Tab (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Tab) Open Next workbench.action.openNextRecentlyUsedEditorInGroup
⌃⇧Tab (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+Tab) Open Previous workbench.action.openPreviousRecentlyUsedEditorInGroup
⌘K P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K P) Copy Path of Active File workbench.action.files.copyPathOfActiveFile
⌘K R (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K R) Reveal Active File in Windows workbench.action.files.revealActiveFileInWindows
⌘K O (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K O) Show Opened File in New Window workbench.action.files.showOpenedFileInNewWindow
Compare Opened File With workbench.files.action.compareFileWith

Display

Key Command Command id
⌃⌘F (Windows, Linux F11) Toggle Full Screen workbench.action.toggleFullScreen
⌘K Z (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Z) Toggle Zen Mode workbench.action.toggleZenMode
Escape Escape Leave Zen Mode workbench.action.exitZenMode
⌘= (Windows, Linux Ctrl+=) Zoom in workbench.action.zoomIn
⌘- (Windows, Linux Ctrl+-) Zoom out workbench.action.zoomOut
⌘Numpad0 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Numpad0) Reset Zoom workbench.action.zoomReset
⌘B (Windows, Linux Ctrl+B) Toggle Sidebar Visibility workbench.action.toggleSidebarVisibility
⇧⌘E (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+E) Show Explorer / Toggle Focus workbench.view.explorer
⇧⌘D (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+D) Show Debug workbench.view.debug
⌃⇧G (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+G) Show Source Control workbench.view.scm
⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X) Show Extensions workbench.view.extensions
⇧⌘U (Windows Ctrl+Shift+U, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+H) Show Output workbench.action.output.toggleOutput
⌃Q (Windows Ctrl+Q, Linux ) Quick Open View workbench.action.quickOpenView
⇧⌘F (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+F) Show Search workbench.view.search
⇧⌘H (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+H) Replace in Files workbench.action.replaceInFiles
⇧⌘J (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+J) Toggle Search Details workbench.action.search.toggleQueryDetails
⇧⌘C (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+C) Open New Command Prompt workbench.action.terminal.openNativeConsole
⇧⌘V (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+V) Toggle Markdown Preview markdown.showPreview
⌘K V (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K V) Open Preview to the Side markdown.showPreviewToSide
⌃` (Windows, Linux Ctrl+`) Toggle Integrated Terminal workbench.action.terminal.toggleTerminal

Preferences

Key Command Command id
⌘, (Windows, Linux Ctrl+,) Open User Settings workbench.action.openGlobalSettings
Open Workspace Settings workbench.action.openWorkspaceSettings
⌘K ⌘S (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+S) Open Keyboard Shortcuts workbench.action.openGlobalKeybindings
Open User Snippets workbench.action.openSnippets
⌘K ⌘T (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+T) Select Color Theme workbench.action.selectTheme
Configure Display Language workbench.action.configureLocale

Debug

Key Command Command id
F9 Toggle Breakpoint editor.debug.action.toggleBreakpoint
F5 Start workbench.action.debug.start
F5 Continue workbench.action.debug.continue
⌘F5 (Windows, Linux Ctrl+F5) Start (without debugging) workbench.action.debug.run
F6 Pause workbench.action.debug.pause
F11 Step Into workbench.action.debug.stepInto
⇧F11 (Windows, Linux Shift+F11) Step Out workbench.action.debug.stepOut
F10 Step Over workbench.action.debug.stepOver
⇧F5 (Windows, Linux Shift+F5) Stop workbench.action.debug.stop
⌘K ⌘I (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+I) Show Hover editor.debug.action.showDebugHover

Tasks

Key Command Command id
⇧⌘B (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+B) Run Build Task workbench.action.tasks.build
Run Test Task workbench.action.tasks.test

Extensions

Key Command Command id
Install Extension workbench.extensions.action.installExtension
Show Installed Extensions workbench.extensions.action.showInstalledExtensions
Show Outdated Extensions workbench.extensions.action.listOutdatedExtensions
Show Recommended Extensions workbench.extensions.action.showRecommendedExtensions
Show Popular Extensions workbench.extensions.action.showPopularExtensions
Update All Extensions workbench.extensions.action.updateAllExtensions

Advanced customization

All keyboard shortcuts in VS Code can be customized via the keybindings.json file.

  • To configure keyboard shortcuts the way you want, open Keyboard Shortcuts editor and click on the link keybindings.json.
  • This will open the Default Keyboard Shortcuts on the left and your keybindings.json file where you can overwrite the default bindings on the right.
  • The list above isn't exhaustive. More commands may be listed under "Here are other available commands" in Default Keyboard Shortcuts.

Keyboard Rules

The keyboard shortcuts dispatching is done by analyzing a list of rules that are expressed in JSON. Here are some examples:

// Keybindings that are active when the focus is in the editor
{ "key": "home",            "command": "cursorHome",                  "when": "editorTextFocus" },
{ "key": "shift+home",      "command": "cursorHomeSelect",            "when": "editorTextFocus" },

// Keybindings that are complementary
{ "key": "f5",              "command": "workbench.action.debug.continue", "when": "inDebugMode" },
{ "key": "f5",              "command": "workbench.action.debug.start",    "when": "!inDebugMode" },

// Global keybindings
{ "key": "ctrl+f",          "command": "actions.find" },
{ "key": "alt+left",        "command": "workbench.action.navigateBack" },
{ "key": "alt+right",       "command": "workbench.action.navigateForward" },

// Global keybindings using chords (two separate keypress actions)
{ "key": "ctrl+k enter",    "command": "workbench.action.keepEditor" },
{ "key": "ctrl+k ctrl+w",   "command": "workbench.action.closeAllEditors" },

Each rule consists of:

  • a key that describes the pressed keys.
  • a command containing the identifier of the command to execute.
  • an optional when clause containing a boolean expression that will be evaluated depending on the current context.

Chords (two separate keypress actions) are described by separating the two keypresses with a space. E.g.: ctrl+k ctrl+c.

When a key is pressed:

  • the rules are evaluated from bottom to top.
  • the first rule that matches, both the key and in terms of when, is accepted.
  • no more rules are processed.
  • if a rule is found and has a command set, the command is executed.

The additional keybindings.json rules are appended at runtime to the bottom of the default rules, thus allowing them to overwrite the default rules. The keybindings.json file is watched by VS Code so editing it while VS Code is running will update the rules at runtime.

Accepted keys

The key is made up of modifiers and the key itself.

The following modifiers are accepted:

Platform Modifiers
Mac ctrl+, shift+, alt+, cmd+
Windows ctrl+, shift+, alt+, win+
Linux ctrl+, shift+, alt+, meta+

The following keys are accepted:

  • f1-f19, a-z, 0-9
  • `, -, =, [, ], \, ;, ', ,, ., /
  • left, up, right, down, pageup, pagedown, end, home
  • tab, enter, escape, space, backspace, delete
  • pausebreak, capslock, insert
  • numpad0-numpad9, numpad_multiply, numpad_add, nupad_separator
  • numpad_subtract, numpad_decimal, numpad_divide

Command arguments

You can invoke a command with arguments. This is useful if you often perform the same operation on a specific file or folder. You can add a custom keyboard shortcut to do exactly what you want.

The following is an example overriding the Enter key to print some text:

  { "key": "enter", "command": "type",
                    "args": { "text": "Hello World" },
                    "when": "editorTextFocus" }

The type command will receive {"text": "Hello World"} as its first argument and add "Hello World" to the file instead of producing the default command.

'when' clause contexts

VS Code gives you fine control over when your key bindings are enabled through the optional when clause. If your key binding doesn't have a when clause, the key binding is globally available at all times.

Below are the some of the possible when clause contexts which evaluate to Boolean true/false:

Context name True when
Editor contexts
editorFocus An editor has focus, either the text or a widget.
editorTextFocus The text in an editor has focus (cursor is blinking).
editorHasSelection Text is selected in the editor.
editorHasMultipleSelections Multiple regions of text are selected (multiple cursors).
editorReadOnly The editor is read only.
editorLangId True when the editor's associated language Id matches. Example: "editorLangId == typescript".
textCompareEditorVisible Diff (compare) view is visible.
Mode contexts
inDebugMode A debug session is running.
inSnippetMode The editor is in snippet mode.
inQuickOpen The Quick Open drop-down has focus.
Explorer contexts
explorerViewletVisible True if Explorer view is visible.
explorerViewletFocus True if Explorer view has keyboard focus.
filesExplorerFocus True if File Explorer section has keyboard focus.
openEditorsFocus True if OPEN EDITORS section has keyboard focus.
explorerResourceIsFolder True if a folder is selected in the Explorer.
Editor widget contexts
findWidgetVisible Editor Find widget is visible.
suggestWidgetVisible Suggestion widget (IntelliSense) is visible.
suggestWidgetMultipleSuggestions Multiple suggestions are displayed.
renameInputVisible Rename input text box is visible.
referenceSearchVisible Find All References peek window is open.
inReferenceSearchEditor The Find All References peek window editor has focus.
config.editor.stablePeek Keep peek editors open (controlled by editor.stablePeek setting).
quickFixWidgetVisible Quick Fix widget is visible.
parameterHintsVisible Parameter hints are visible (controlled by editor.parameterHints setting).
parameterHintsMultipleSignatures Multiple parameter hints are displayed.
Integrated terminal contexts
terminalFocus An integrated terminal has focus.
Global UI contexts
resourceLangId True when the Explorer or editor title language Id matches. Example: "resourceLangId == markdown"
resourceFilename True when the Explorer or editor filename matches. Example: "resourceFilename == gulpfile.js"
globalMessageVisible Message box is visible at the top of VS Code.
searchViewletVisible Search view is open.
replaceActive Search view Replace text box is open.
Configuration settings contexts
config.editor.minimap.enabled True when the setting editor.minimap.enabled is true.

Note: You can use any user or workspace setting that evaluates to a boolean here with the prefix "config.".

The list above isn't exhaustive and you may see some when contexts for specific VS Code UI in the Default Keyboard Shortcuts.

Removing a specific key binding rule

You can write a key binding rule that targets the removal of a specific default key binding. With the keybindings.json, it was always possible to redefine all the key bindings of VS Code, but it can be very difficult to make a small tweak, especially around overloaded keys, such as Tab or Escape. To remove a specific key binding, add a - to the command and the rule will be a removal rule.

Here is an example:

// In Default Keyboard Shortcuts
...
{ "key": "tab", "command": "tab", "when": ... },
{ "key": "tab", "command": "jumpToNextSnippetPlaceholder", "when": ... },
{ "key": "tab", "command": "acceptSelectedSuggestion", "when": ... },
...

// To remove the second rule, for example, add in keybindings.json:
{ "key": "tab", "command": "-jumpToNextSnippetPlaceholder" }

Keyboard layouts

Note: This section relates only to key bindings, not to typing in the editor.

The keys above are string representations for virtual keys and do not necessarily relate to the produced character when they are pressed. More precisely:

  • Reference: Virtual-Key Codes (Windows)
  • tab for VK_TAB (0x09)
  • ; for VK_OEM_1 (0xBA)
  • = for VK_OEM_PLUS (0xBB)
  • , for VK_OEM_COMMA (0xBC)
  • - for VK_OEM_MINUS (0xBD)
  • . for VK_OEM_PERIOD (0xBE)
  • / for VK_OEM_2 (0xBF)
  • ` for VK_OEM_3 (0xC0)
  • [ for VK_OEM_4 (0xDB)
  • \ for VK_OEM_5 (0xDC)
  • ] for VK_OEM_6 (0xDD)
  • ' for VK_OEM_7 (0xDE)
  • etc.

Different keyboard layouts usually reposition the above virtual keys or change the characters produced when they are pressed. When using a different keyboard layout than the standard US, Visual Studio Code does the following:

All the key bindings are rendered in the UI using the current system's keyboard layout. For example, Split Editor when using a French (France) keyboard layout is now rendered as Ctrl+*:

render key binding

When editing keybindings.json, VS Code highlights misleading key bindings - those that are represented in the file with the character produced under the standard US keyboard layout, but which need pressing keys with different labels under the current system's keyboard layout. For example, here is how the Default Keyboard Shortcuts rules look like when using a French (France) keyboard layout:

keybindings.json guidance

There is also a widget that helps input the key binding rule when editing keybindings.json. To launch the Define Keybinding widget, press ⌘K ⌘K (Windows, Linux Ctrl+K Ctrl+K). The widget listens for key presses and renders the serialized JSON representation in the text box and below it, the keys that VS Code has detected under your current keyboard layout. Once you've typed the key combination you want, you can press Enter and a rule snippet will be inserted.

key binding widget

Note: Visual Studio Code detects your current keyboard layout on start-up and then caches this information. For a good experience, we recommend restarting VS Code if you change your keyboard layout.

Next Steps

Now that you know about our Key binding support, what's next...

  • Language Support - Our Good, Better, Best language grid to see what you can expect
  • Debugging - This is where VS Code really shines
  • Node.js - End to end Node.js scenario with a sample app

Common Questions

Q: How to find out what command is bound to a specific key?

A: In the Default Keyboard Shortcuts, open Quick Outline by pressing ⇧⌘O (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+O)

Key bindings quick outline

Q: How to add a key binding to an action? For example add Ctrl+D to Delete Lines

A: Find a rule that triggers the action in the Default Keyboard Shortcuts and write a modified version of it in your keybindings.json file:

// Original, in Default Keyboard Shortcuts
{ "key": "ctrl+shift+k",          "command": "editor.action.deleteLines",
                                     "when": "editorTextFocus" },
// Modified, in User/keybindings.json, Ctrl+D now will also trigger this action
{ "key": "ctrl+d",                "command": "editor.action.deleteLines",
                                     "when": "editorTextFocus" },

Q: How can I add a key binding for only certain file types?

A: Use the editorLangId context key in your when clause:

{ "key": "shift+alt+a",           "command": "editor.action.blockComment",
                                     "when": "editorTextFocus && editorLangId == csharp" },

Q: I have modified my key bindings in keybindings.json, why don't they work?

A: The most common problem is a syntax error in the file. Otherwise, try removing the when clause or picking a different key. Unfortunately, at this point, it is a trial and error process.